The Big Discussion: Diversity, Inequality, Race, and everything that keeps us from Utopia

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smcj
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Re: The Big Discussion: Diversity, Inequality, Race, and everything that keeps us from Utopia

Post by smcj » Wed May 22, 2019 4:46 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:44 pm
smcj wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:39 pm
As an aside, there are no Utopias, either personal or societal. (See “suffering of change”.)

There’s worse samsara and better samsara. So the discussion has some merit. However the title of the thread doesn’t really sit well in a buddhist forum.

:focus:
That was my attempt at a little humor. There's not a lot of places where Buddhist jokes might even have a chance of eliciting a chuckle.
My bad. I was too uptight to get the joke.

Well done. :thumbsup:
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post/by ?)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that,
Through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Queequeg
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Re: The Big Discussion: Diversity, Inequality, Race, and everything that keeps us from Utopia

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 22, 2019 5:25 pm

smcj wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:46 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:44 pm
smcj wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:39 pm
As an aside, there are no Utopias, either personal or societal. (See “suffering of change”.)

There’s worse samsara and better samsara. So the discussion has some merit. However the title of the thread doesn’t really sit well in a buddhist forum.

:focus:
That was my attempt at a little humor. There's not a lot of places where Buddhist jokes might even have a chance of eliciting a chuckle.
My bad. I was too uptight to get the joke.

Well done. :thumbsup:
Ah, if it didn't get a laugh, it was a bad joke. Thanks, though. I'm here all week.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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SunWuKong
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Re: The Big Discussion: Diversity, Inequality, Race, and everything that keeps us from Utopia

Post by SunWuKong » Wed May 22, 2019 7:31 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 5:25 pm
smcj wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:46 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:44 pm


That was my attempt at a little humor. There's not a lot of places where Buddhist jokes might even have a chance of eliciting a chuckle.
My bad. I was too uptight to get the joke.

Well done. :thumbsup:
Ah, if it didn't get a laugh, it was a bad joke. Thanks, though. I'm here all week.
LOL I'm just trying to find the Middle Way between Utopia and Genocide. It's not merely "tolerance" or "acceptance" or "diversity"
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

tkp67
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Re: The Big Discussion: Diversity, Inequality, Race, and everything that keeps us from Utopia

Post by tkp67 » Wed May 22, 2019 10:04 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:31 pm
I can be sloppy with vocabulary.

I think in this case, its more than vocabulary, but an underlying view of how the world is constructed. In Buddhism, the root cause of all THIS is a fundamental ignorance about how things really are and our mistaken assumptions about how to ameliorate the discomfort that comes from the dissonance between how things are and how we think they are.

Materialism, consumerism - basically all the wrong views, are something way down the line that concatenate out of ignorance and the craving (tanha) for amelioration of the discomfort. We mistakenly think, if we just scratch this itch or that one, we'll finally be delivered from this discomfort. Soon, we're just impulsively scratching at everything, and poof, here we are. Scratching those itches though doesn't satisfy for long and actually just perpetuates the itches.

So anyway, my point is, materialism is not actually the problem. That's actually a very sophisticated and advanced tangle of wrong ideas. When people denigrate what they see as materialistic prayers to the Buddha, that says more about them, I think, than the paths that accommodate such prayers. There is more going on there.
I agree with what you are saying in regards to materialism not being a cause but rather descriptive of the phenomenon but I don't believe that is exclusive of those who believe according to the definition. Conversely that may not be a reasonable label for the whole of a materialist/consumerist culture and your comment regarding the complexity brings some thoughts to mind.

A) It seems on every level of our existence visualization has a premium value

B) temporal control of impermanence (for a lack of a better word conditional "nirvana") as a means to deal with attachment to he material world

C) sensual satisfaction (sight is sensual) is a powerful and seemingly benign attachment

D) "connections" to the material world, even necessary (food, shelter, basic necessities) seem to come at the risk of attachment and evocation of the evil paths.

E) the evil paths expressed in a materialist culture seems to create a viral reaction triggering that behavior in people with like life conditions.

I am sure this list is subject to my own interpretation and is not meant to be authoritative or conclusive.

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Wayfarer
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Re: The Big Discussion: Diversity, Inequality, Race, and everything that keeps us from Utopia

Post by Wayfarer » Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 am

tkp67 wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:04 pm

I agree with what you are saying in regards to materialism not being a cause but rather descriptive of the phenomenon but I don't believe that is exclusive of those who believe according to the definition. Conversely that may not be a reasonable label for the whole of a materialist/consumerist culture and your comment regarding the complexity brings some thoughts to mind.

A) It seems on every level of our existence visualization has a premium value

B) temporal control of impermanence (for a lack of a better word conditional "nirvana") as a means to deal with attachment to the material world

C) sensual satisfaction (sight is sensual) is a powerful and seemingly benign attachment

D) "connections" to the material world, even necessary (food, shelter, basic necessities) seem to come at the risk of attachment and evocation of the evil paths.

E) the evil paths expressed in a materialist culture seems to create a viral reaction triggering that behavior in people with like life conditions.

I am sure this list is subject to my own interpretation and is not meant to be authoritative or conclusive.
Agree with your analysis. We do live in materialist culture. But that's not all bad! Materialism is basically the philosophy of scientists and engineers: break down problems to their component parts, see how they work together, and understand the principles. Put to one side imponderable questions of value and meaning. And it's had many beneficial consequences, as well as many downsides. (I say this because it's easy to lose sight of those benefits.)

BUT, progress and economic freedom have their shadow, and that is the 'shadow of meaninglessness'. The following analysis is by a Russian-born sociologist who lived and worked in the USA, Pitirim Sorokin, who sees modernity as being a 'sensate culture':
The defining cultural principle is that true reality is sensory – only the material world is real. There is no other reality or source of values.
This becomes the organizing principle of society. It permeates every aspect of culture and defines the basic mentality. People are unable to think in any other terms.

* Sensate culture pursues science and technology, but dedicates little creative thought to spirituality or religion.

* Dominant values are wealth, health, bodily comfort, sensual pleasures, power and fame.

* Ethics, politics, and economics are utilitarian and hedonistic. All ethical and legal precepts are considered mere man-made conventions, relative and changeable.

* Art and entertainment emphasize sensory stimulation. In the decadent stages of Sensate culture there is a frenzied emphasis on the new and the shocking (literally, sensationalism).

* Religious institutions are mere relics of previous epochs, stripped of their original substance, and tending to fundamentalism and exaggerated fideism (the view that faith is not compatible with reason).
More here.

I find myself in agreement with a lot of what he says (which, however, usually typecasts me as "reactionary" - but so be it.)
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

tkp67
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Re: The Big Discussion: Diversity, Inequality, Race, and everything that keeps us from Utopia

Post by tkp67 » Thu May 23, 2019 12:00 pm

There is one aspect of that article that is not discussed and denies a good portion of what shapes humanity and that is belief. Now if we evaluate the lowest common denominator of belief, even in regards to the various and even conflicting Buddhist teachings (or even non Buddhist teachings) is that if one is to gain benefit thereof they must believe what they are being taught. (this is not to imply they all offer a true benefit either individually or as a culture )

The very comment in that article about religions being trappings of past epochs is admittance of the imprint of belief on the whole of a culture regardless of the efficiency. Be it the good, bad or ugly this "conceptual wrapper" itself shapes the humanity that holds it. The expressive human nature within these "conceptual wrappers" seems to be consistent with the teachings so I do not see them invalidating Buddhism or the potential benefit.

My observation is If we believe the nature of society is set in stone it will be. It makes me wonder if Buddha held the same belief would there have been cause to propagate Buddhism? If there was no teaching as Buddhism in any form what would the world look like today?

Something to consider is that even the belief that one can survive adversity (against the odds) is "irrational" yet life on earth arose, and even human life evolved and survived in light of very "irrational" odds. Please do not interpret this as a suggestion in irrational belief but rather as an observation of our latent capacity to survive is in mathematical terms has helped us thrive against the odds.

If humanity can survive against the odds, and if Buddha can appear and propagate teachings in light of this at what point is it a matter of belief that human culture is static and incapable of change or that human culture is impermanent and always changing.

So in my mind a big question that arises could the middle road here be that culture is a reflection of the belief of those that comprise it? and that the evil paths are most easily embraced in the absence of any teaching but the teachings of self? and if the people culturally embrace a teaching of selfless compassion how will that shape the future of human culture?

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